Thursday 14 December 2017

RTE comic David McSavage given chance to avoid jail sentence for not paying his TV licence

David McSavage pictured arriving at the Four Courts for a District Court appearance
David McSavage pictured arriving at the Four Courts for a District Court appearance

Martin Grant

RTE star David McSavage has been given another chance to avoid jail for not paying his TV licence, after a judge adjourned the case.

The 49-year-old comedian appeared before Dublin District Court this afternoon for not paying the TV licence fee for his house in Portobello, Dublin.

McSavage told the court he refuses to pay the fee because he has questions around the standard of the national broadcaster’s shows.

An inspector told the court that he called to McSavage's house on May 7, 2015, and asked if he had a TV licence.

The inspector said that Mr Savage was not in the possession of a TV licence.

Judge John O'Neill said that Mr Savage's reason for not paying the licence fee was not a "legal justification".

The inspector told the court that a current TV licence had been paid on March 31, however €115 arrears were owed.

Mr McSavage told the judge that he would pay the arrears and Judge O'Neill adjourned the case until June 16.

Judge O'Neill told the TV star that if the arrears are not paid he runs the risk of a conviction.

However, speaking to media after the case, the comedian claimed that he did not buy a licence and that he does not know who did.

"I didn't take one out on March 31. I don't have a licence. I'm saying I haven't got a TV licence. I didn't know I had a licence," said Mr McSavage.

"I didn't buy one personally. I didn't realise that a TV licence was bought."

He also added that he didn't understand what he was agreeing to when the evidence was put before the court.

He said: "I've got a gig tonight and then I thought well if I say I'm not going to pay it I don't know would I be taken down...would I be put in prison.

"I don't mind going to prison or whatever, it's one thing saying it and then being in the situation."

When asked by media if he would pay the arrears, the comic replied: "Yeah...this is enough of this sh*t at this f**king stage. I had the point, the point is made."

However, he then went on to tell journalists that he didn't know if he would pay the arrears or appear before the court in June.

The comic decided to represent himself before the packed court.

The Dubliner told media in the days leading up to the court hearing that he had “no problem” going to jail if he did not pay the licence fee.

McSavage previously spent a stint a in a cell for selling DVDs of his Vicar Street shows on the street.

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